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Sung Chih-Wen 


Died A.D. 710

The son of a distinguished general, he began his career as attache to the military advisers of the Emperor. These advisers were always drawn from the literary class, and their duties appear to have been chiefly administrative and diplomatic. Of his life, the less said the better. He became involved in a palace intrigue, and only saved himself by betraying his accomplices. In the end he was banished, and finally put to death by the Emperor's order. It is necessary, however, to dissociate the man from his poetry, and Sung Chih-Wen's poetry often touches a high level of inspiration.

The Court of Dreams

Rain from the mountains of Ki-Sho Fled swiftly with a tearing breeze; The sun came radiant down the west, And greener blushed the valley trees.

I entered through the convent gate: The abbot bade me welcome there, And in the court of silent dreams I lost the thread of worldly care.

That holy man and I were one, Beyond the bounds that words can trace: The very flowers were still as we. I heard the lark that hung in space, And Truth Eternal flashed on me.

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